News · Politics

The Wednesday Five: Women in Politics

As we head into an election year, undoubtedly, women in politics continue to make headlines — both good ones and offensive ones. In this week’s Wednesday Five, we share five important articles that reflect the State of Women in Politics, including:

  1. Judging women in politics on their ability to make people feel comfortable.
  2. Where are the women on the Sunday political shows?
  3. Women in Politics talk about “Firsts” in the field.
  4. Hillary Clinton on running and governing as a woman.
  5. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler shut down sexism in politics.



Judging Women in Politics on their Ability to Make People Feel Comfortable


Senator Harry Reid, when speaking of Elizabeth Warren’s best qualities, said this:

She is very, very strong in a unique way. Her No. 1 quality is that great smile she has. It’s true. She’s very disarming.

That’s her best quality? Really? This is precisely the problem writes Katie McDonough in Salon — when women in politics are judged by their ability to make people feel at ease or to be “disarming.” According to McDonough

Pushing back against this kind of soft sexism is complicated work. Cultivating relationships and marketing yourself are very much a part of politics, but the pressure to get along is a particularly loaded set of expectations for women, particularly for women like Warren who make up just a fraction of the Senate and are still regarded as something of a political anomaly even in 2015.




Where Are the Women on the Sunday Political Shows?

The 2015 Media Matters for America report revealed disturbing findings when it comes to the presence of women in the following top political news shows like ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos, CBS’s Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace, NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, and CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley. The report found:

  • White men were the largest proportion of all guests on all shows
  • Men outnumbered women on every show
  • Of the 10 most frequent guests on the Sunday shows, just two were women, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and Cook Political Report national editor Amy Walter



Makers: Women in Politics — Talk About “Firsts” in the Field

Makers: Women in Politics has profiled women in public office who were “firsts” in their fields. From the first woman elected to Congress in 1916 to a young woman running for Detroit City Council in 2013, the documentary explores the challenges confronting American women in politics. Trailblazing leaders like Hillary Clinton, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Olympia Snowe, the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, and Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to serve in Congress, provide a backdrop for younger women like Rashida Tlaib, the first Muslim-American woman elected to the Michigan House, and Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, who chronicles her run for Detroit City.



Hillary Clinton on Running and Governing as a Woman

Jay Newton-Small sat down with Hillary Clinton in October for an exclusive interview for the upcoming book, “Broad Influence How Women Are Changing the Way America Works.” Published in TIME are excerpts from that conversation in which Clinton talks about how she’d “govern differently as a woman, her female political role models and how she’s been at the forefront of women reaching critical mass and making a difference almost her entire career.” When asked which foreign leader she admires and would want to emulate, she chose Angela Merkel of Germany.

Hillary Clinton: Well, I have to say that I highly admire Angela Merkel. I’ve known Angela since the 1990s, she and I actually appeared on a German TV show together. I have spent personal time with her. She is, I think, a really effective strong leader and really right now the major leader in Europe, not just in Germany. I admire her political skills and her principles, her strong work ethic. I just find her to be an incredibly important person in the world today and I look to her to see how she’s managed it.




Tina Fey And Amy Poehler Shut Down Sexism in Politics and More

And just for fun, here’s Buzzfeed’s awesome list of  “22 Times Tina Fey And Amy Poehler Shut Down Sexism In The Best Damn Way,” telling us they’re the “only feminism goals you need.” The list, fully equipped with GIFS, includes addressing issues relevant to women in politics, including: the lack of female representation in politics and the double standard candidates like Hillary Clinton face. It’s a hilarious list with sobering zingers!

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